The Imperfect Church (Sermon w/ Spanish Translation)

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭HCSB‬‬)

The following is a message I shared at a little assembly in Mexico on November 28, 2016.

Title: The Imperfect Church

Passage: Colossians 1:1-2

Theme: Living for the Lord

“Pablo, apóstol de Jesucristo por la voluntad de Dios, y el hermano Timoteo, a los santos y fieles hermanos en Cristo que están en Colosas: Gracia y paz sean a vosotros, de Dios nuestro Padre y del Señor Jesucristo.” (‭‭Colosenses‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬)

A Living Sacrifice (Sermon w/ Spanish Translation)

“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭HCSB‬‬)

The following is a message I shared at a little assembly in Mexico on November 26, 2016. It was the third message in a series on the subject of worship.

Title: A Living Sacrifice

Passage: Romans 12:1-2

Theme: Worship

“Así que, hermanos, os ruego por las misericordias de Dios, que presentéis vuestros cuerpos en sacrificio vivo, santo, agradable a Dios, que es vuestro culto racional. No os conforméis a este siglo, sino transformaos por medio de la renovación de vuestro entendimiento, para que comprobéis cuál sea la buena voluntad de Dios, agradable y perfecta.” (Romanos‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭RVR1960‬‬)

God Tested Abraham (Poem)

“Go up, Abraham, without a lamb.
Take your son, your only one.

Build me an alter, (do not falter).
Kill your boy, your greatest joy.”

Reaching for the knife- to end a life.
No sound heard, but then… a word!

“Stop now, Abraham! Look up: a ram!
In the thorns, caught by the horns.

Slay it instead. Blood must be shed.
It is done. Blessing will come.”

Woe! Really?

I cringe when I read the “woes” Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and lawyers in Luke 11. Take, for example, when He says, “But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the other” (Luke‬ ‭11:42‬ ‭HCSB‬‬). These Pharisees did a good job of putting their religiosity on display. They faithfully obeyed the “tithing law” with their material possessions, but they did not provide justice to the downtrodden nor did they love God.

Jesus went to on to pronounce the following woe on the experts in the law, “Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn’t go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in” (Luke‬ ‭11:52‬). These men had everything necessary to help everyone know and practice true worship, but they distorted it (or kept it to themselves) so the people were kept in darkness. But why was Jesus so harsh on these leaders? It makes me uncomfortable to hear how sharply He rebuked them. Continue reading

How Much Do You Love?

In our world today, there is a pervasive idea that in order to go to heaven, a person must be good. Of course, no one knows how good they must be in order to get in, but that doesn’t seem to bother many of us. We can always point out at least one person who is worse than us.

Unfortunately, the Bible teaches that no one is good enough to get into heaven on their own merit. In fact, Jesus taught the exact opposite. Jesus regularly made comments to the effect of, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

In Luke 7:36-50, there is a delightful story about a Pharisee, a Rabbi, and a prostitute. Jesus (called “Rabbi” by many) was invited over for lunch by a Pharisee. While they were enjoying a pleasant meal, a sinful woman entered the house, knelt at Jesus’ feet weeping, washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, kissed his feet, broke open a bottle of fragrant perfume, and poured it on his feet.

Indignant, the Pharisee thought to himself, Continue reading

Mission San Juan Capistrano

“The bells. I love the bells.” -Mother (Beethoven Lives Upstairs)

On Saturday, my brother-in-law and I went to Mission San Juan Capistrano to learn about some of California’s history. Armed with a camera, a desire to learn, and stomachs full of Mexican food, we knew we were in for a good time.

At the entrance we paid our fee ($9 for me; he got a military discount of some undisclosed amount) and were given headsets and a stack of paper, including a map and other information about the mission. In an attempt at efficiency, my bro-in-law and I decided to follow the audio tour outlined on our map. After listening to the first recording, we abandoned the endeavor and decided to wander around aimlessly (a much more enjoyable option).

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Main Courtyard

From the main courtyard, I snapped a few photos and we made our way to the old chapel. Continue reading